Exclamation points in writing should be reserved for moments that truly need them.
This article is inspired by an article I came across about a year ago. In it, the author spoke against the overuse of the exclamation point, citing the wise words of her tenth grade English teacher as the reason for her stance. At the time, the writer’s English teacher graciously explained to each student that they now have a lifetime total of seven exclamation points and they should use them wisely.
And I must admit that I agree.
While I might stretch the upper limit to a maximum of ten exclamation points, I do believe that this special punctuation mark can be (and often is) overused.
Let me give you the ugly truth: Too many exclamation points cheapen the value of the words they are meant to emphasize.
In this digital era where social media is literally changing language and YouTubers talk in exclamations, the formal writing community must maintain the standard for punctuation consistency. Today, we’re now able to sit behind computers and feign eternal happiness, eternal laughter without actually feeling or showing any emotion. I equate the excess use of exclamation points to sharing fake emotions in the online space. You’re not that excited about what you are saying.
When you reserve the expression of excitement for when it really matters, the impact is more greatly felt. It is why I am in support of using exclamation points in moderation.
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